Christmas Candy

Last year Jason and I spent an entire weekend making Christmas candy to give as gifts to everyone we knew. We went through pounds of chocolate and in the end we had more candy than we knew what to do with. While we haven’t made any yet this year, I figured I would post the recipes for those of you who may be planning to make candy this year. Everything turned out except the truffles…those had to stay in the freezer and ended up being more of a headache than a tasty treat.

Sorry there are no pictures, but these were all made last year when I wasn’t into food blogging yet. If you make any of these please send a picture my way!

Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 12 full size muffins
(we used mini muffin tins for a more realistic size)

  • 12 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Fill muffin tins muffin cups. Pour melted chocolate into the bottom, about 1/6 of the way up. Coat the sides with the chocolate as well. Put in the refrigerator or set out side to harden. While hardening, mix peanut butter, sugar and salt. Once chocolate is hard, add desired amount of peanut butter. Refrigerator about 1 hour until peanut butter is harder. Top off with dark chocolate.

Peppermint Bark
12 servings

  • 20 starlight mint candies
  • 1 cup small salted pretzel twists
  • 1 pound white chocolate

Unwrap candies and place in a zip-lock bag; smash with a hammer. Do the same with the pretzels in their own bag. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate and pour over parchment paper. Sprinkle the crushed candies and pretzels. Cool for 3 hours.

Peanut Butter Bark

  • 1 pound dark chocolate
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup dry roasted nuts

Warm the peanut butter in the microwave until a thin consistency. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and pour 3/4 of it over parchment paper. Pour peanut butter on the chocolate in a wave-like fashion. With a spatula, create a swirled pattern. Sprinkle the peanuts on top and top with the remaining chocolate. Cool for 3 hours.

Holiday Truffles
36-40 servings

  • 10, 1oz squares of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 oz milk chocolate, separated
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped and well drained
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopping
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Chop all but ½ the milk chocolate and set aside in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over low heat until bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat immediately and add the chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Allow mixture to cool. Stir in butter and almond extract. Cover and refrigerate about 8 hours. Grate remaining chocolate, sir in nuts and set aside. Remove the chilled chocolate mixture and allow it to warm slightly. Mix the chopped cherries into chocolate and form into 36-40 balls. Roll balls in the chocolate-nut mixture and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 2 months.

Sugared Pecan Halves
10 servings

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp green sugar
  • 2 tbsp red sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300F. Mix egg white and water until frothy. IN another bowl mix the sugars and salt. Dip the pecans in the egg and then roll in sugar mixture. Place on an un greased shallow baking pan and bake at 300F for 30-40 minutes, stirring and turning every 15 minutes.

Peppermint Patties
8 dozen

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp peppermint extract
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 ½ pound dark chocolate

In a large bowl, mix milk, peppermint, and food coloring. Add sugar and beat on low until smooth. Turn onto a surface sprinkled with sugar. Knead lightly and shape into 1” balls. Place 2” apart on wax paper and flatten into patties. Let dry 1 hour, turn over and let dry 1 more hour. With a fork, drip each in the chocolate and let stand until solid.

Pecan Balls
72 servings

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar to coat

Preheat over to 350F. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and salt; beat until combined. Beat in vanilla. Ass a much flour as you can and stir in remaining flour with wooden spoon. Stir in pecans. Shape slightly rounded teaspoons. Place 1” apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

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